My Cabinet Maker's Mallet

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Project by sIKE posted 03-06-2008 05:31 AM 6411 views 7 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is third one I have made, they are very good experience for learning the techniques of lamination and for shaping wood. I am much more comfortable with things nice and square but this really pushed my woodworking skills. The best moment for me was when I realized that I could put the handle that I was trying to shape into my vise and really go at it with my rasp, chisels, and most importantly sandpaper. The little 3M Sandblaster pads work great for shaping. The 80 grit pads are really aggressive and you can really get in and around curves to smooth the wood easily. The lamination is made up of Hard Maple, Dark Walnut, and Mahogany and the handle was made out of a block of 8/4 Hard Maple. The one surprise with the wood was when I started slicing the maple and got towards the center it was lightly splated. It is finished with Tung Oil. I need to go back tomorrow and sand out a couple of glue spots and add one more coat of Tung Oil and it will be complete.

This is a project out of a recent issue of ShopNotes.

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

15 comments so far

View grovemadman's profile


556 posts in 4256 days

#1 posted 03-06-2008 07:57 AM

Fine looking basher, I need to make one of these!

-- --Chuck

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 4370 days

#2 posted 03-06-2008 08:37 AM

GREAT JOB! I saved the pictures for future reference.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4550 days

#3 posted 03-06-2008 10:09 AM

Good looking Walnut buster. It’s a beauty.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4306 days

#4 posted 03-06-2008 01:43 PM

This is a a nice mallet. Thanks for the info about the 3M sanding pads. I have never used them but will have to put them on my list. Since I don’t have a mallet I will have to put one of these on my to-do list.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 4251 days

#5 posted 03-06-2008 03:19 PM

Very nice overall shape. The wood choice is spectacular.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View sIKE's profile


1271 posts in 4238 days

#6 posted 03-06-2008 04:18 PM

Thanks guys! This mallet didn’t follow the recipe in the magazine. My original intent was to make all three mallets at the same time. I milled all of the lumber for them at the same time, however I had to rush to get the other two done for Christmas and the third one (mine of course) fell to wayside. I finally got the time to pick this back up last week. Once I did, I realized that both of the 3/16” thick maple boards that held the blanks had an awful deep snipe on one end of each of them. So looking around my pile of scraps I came across a 15” long by 1/4” wide piece of mahogany that would perfectly, feed through planner, one problem solved. Now the dilemma was layout of the layers, with a count of 6-5-2 vs. 7-6. This is where my wife’s eye comes in. We picked out the outside two layers in walnut, she then arranged the inside layers in a very pleasing manner I think.

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4359 days

#7 posted 03-06-2008 09:24 PM

It looks really nice. Is it a trophy, or are you going to use it?

View ben's profile


158 posts in 4354 days

#8 posted 03-07-2008 12:41 AM

Beautiful mallet. Since I’m of the ign’ant sort (and don’t get ShopNotes), do you mind sharing the history behind the shape of the cabinet maker’s mallet?


View Scott's profile


63 posts in 4345 days

#9 posted 03-07-2008 12:59 AM

good job. I really like the contrasting woods. Kep up the good work.

-- Scott, Kentucky ----- "Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry" Mark Twain

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4252 days

#10 posted 03-07-2008 01:11 AM

that looks great. i especially like the lamination. thanks for the post.

View sIKE's profile


1271 posts in 4238 days

#11 posted 03-07-2008 03:50 AM

The overall shape is for cabinet makers, the large end is convex to avoid denting the piece when you knock it in to place, or out after a dry fit. The smaller end is curved a bit to allow you to work down on the inside of drawers.

I built it to used in my work. I hope to knock many things around with it.

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View Robb's profile


660 posts in 4418 days

#12 posted 03-12-2008 08:37 PM

Great looking mallet! I love all the laminations, they really give it a special look.

-- Robb

View Phildo92027's profile


53 posts in 4283 days

#13 posted 03-13-2008 01:45 AM

Beautiful work. Is this a veneer hammer or a chisel basher? The finer radius suggests use as a veneer hammer.

-- Phil, Near San Diego, CA

View sIKE's profile


1271 posts in 4238 days

#14 posted 03-14-2008 10:45 PM

I am using it very well a cabinet makers mallet. Works great, for that, when it comes to veneering I have no clue, just use a J-Roller, but I am just a nube…..

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View Phildo92027's profile


53 posts in 4283 days

#15 posted 03-16-2008 05:19 PM

A Veneer Hammer is used when applying veneer (real wood) using hide glue and a substrate. Very cool and time tested. To make your mallet into a veneer hammer you would insert a strip of brass or aluminum along the width of the narrow end. See for picture.

-- Phil, Near San Diego, CA

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